People and places
Law firms in Port Moresby are often more focused on the energy, projects and cross-border finance sectors than they are on intellectual property, which is no surprise given the country’s relatively small population – 8.9 million in 2020 – and small GDP of US$2,504 per capita in 2019.That said, there is effective IP legislation, an active IP office and the country is party to numerous treaties. In addition to the firms listed below, law firms in Australia may be able to provide some assistance.
Allens practices both local and international law and represents Papua New Guinean, foreign and multinational companies on their investments and business interests. The firm’s Port Moresby-based lawyers focus mostly on corporate and commercial matters. The office also works closely with lawyers in the firm’s offices in Australia and those in Singapore, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.
Partner Derek Wood leads Ashurst PNG, a partnership formed in Papua New Guinea carrying on practice under the name Ashurst under licence from Ashurst LLP. Wood specializes in commercial litigation and dispute resolution.
At Dentons in Port Moresby, senior partner Winifred Kamit frequently advises PNG government bodies on corporate matters. Kamit also provides advice on IP and property to private sector clients and Australian businesses operating or seeking to do business in PNG.
O’Briens Lawyers provides advice and representation to parties wishing to register trademarks or patents in Port Moresby. The firm’s dispute resolution team has also run a number of infringement actions to enforce intellectual property rights, including obtaining orders removing goods marked with counterfeit marks from sale. Senior associate Amira Ward is a key contact.
Headed by executive partner Kisakiu Posman, Posman Kua Aisi Lawyers is a long-established practice, particularly well known for its litigation capability and frequent representation of significant domestic clients.
Spruson & Ferguson’s patent and trademark attorneys are qualified to act directly in Papua New Guinea and represent clients across all areas of IP. Daniel Wilson, principal in the firm’s Sydney office, is a key contact. The firm can also provide advice on matters in other Pacific island nations, including the Marshall Islands, Palau, Samoa, Fiji, the Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati and Vanuatu. Spruson & Ferguson is part of IPH Limited, the IP company holding company.